NPR

On Halloween, Remember: Voodoo Isn't Black Magic

Halloween is nigh. Does your costume pass the racial sensitivity test? That's our topic this week on Ask Code Switch.
A New Orleans Saints fan holds a voodoo doll at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans in 2016. Source: Sean Gardner

Never mind ghosts and goblins, zombies and vampires. For some people, the scariest part of Halloween is the deluge of offensive costumes, from frat boys in black face to white kids in kimonos to sexy celebrity Pocahontases.

At this point, every masquerader (should) know that race is not a costume. But the racial politics behind certain get-ups aren't quite so obvious.

This week on Ask Code Switch, we got a question from Jennifer, a Pennsylvania woman whose daughter is entranced with the occult. The costume in question? Voodoo doll.

Here's Jennifer:

My 9-year-old daughter (half German-American,

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